Rope making

Rope maker, Mendel
From the 13th century through to the 18th century, in an area stretching from the British Isles to Italy, ropes were constructed in rope walks. These were very long buildings where strands equal to the full length of the rope were spread out and then laid up or twisted together to form the rope. The cable length was thus set by the length of the available rope walk. Hence, the unit of length termed cable length. The system allowed for production of ropes 300 yards long or longer.

Long ropes were necessary in shipping as sheets and halyards. Better a long rope than short ropes spliced together. The short splice is strongest, but doubles the diameter of the rope at the area of the splice, causing problems where lines ran through pulleys. Any splices narrow enough to maintain smooth running would be unable to support the required weight.

Common materials for rope include natural fibres such as manila hemp, hemp, linen, cotton, coir, jute, and sisal. . . .

rope making tools
fiber - yarn - strand - rope

. Making Rope .

original . rope making .

Medieval rope making demonstrated at Châteaux Guédelon (new window):
part 1, part 2.